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James Crawley

James Crawley writes

Posted Tuesday, August 10th 2021

📝 Report: Forest Green Rovers *2-2 Bristol City (*6-5 pens)

City have been knocked out of the Carabao Cup, after a 6-5 penalty shootout defeat to Forest Green Rovers.

Saikou Janneh scored his first City goals as he helped the Robins fight from behind after Jamille Matt’s opener.

However, Rovers battled back inside the final minute of second-half added time when Regan Hendry fired home.

It forced a penalty shootout and Gloucestershire-born Cameron Pring would be the unfortunate player to see his decisive spot-kick saved at the Fully Charged New Lawn.

The background

Pring was handed his City debut as he partnered Tomas Kalas in the centre of defence. In fact this was a completely changed XI from the team which kicked off against Blackpool, in what would be a first-ever competitive fixture between the two clubs.

Nigel Pearson was able to select from a near-fully fit squad with only Robbie Cundy, Antoine Semenyo and Callum O’Dowda unavailable. Semenyo trained with the squad on Monday, while O’Dowda could be available for Saturday’s trip to Middlesbrough as he recovers well from his knock sustained on Saturday.

What happened:

It was a lively start in Gloucestershire as the strong summer sun set over the stadium and Forest Green drew first blood with the opener inside the 11th minute.

It was marvellous build-up play from the hosts, Ebou Adam’s reverse pass picked out Kane Wilson who slipped in Jack Aitchison at the byline. He was able to cut the ball back across goal and Rovers’ captain Matt was on hand to supply the finish.

The Green Army settled well but almost conceded a bizarre equaliser. A Nahki Wells cross caused problems as the home side struggled to get rid of the ball, hitting an attempted clearance against the body of Han-Noah Massengo. The ball pinged back towards goal but fortunately for the hosts it sailed just wide of the post.

A knock to Joe Williams would force the midfielder to be replaced by Tyreeq Bakinson inside the 37th minute, though City were back in the game moments later.

Wells was causing the danger again, this time his cross from the opposite side picked out Janneh who was completely unmarked and he fired the ball into the net via a deflection.

A fantastic save from Max O’Leary denied Adams from restoring Forest’s lead after Matt’s hanging cross from the left, before Ádám Nagy was replaced by Kasey Palmer just after an hour of play.

And Palmer grabbed an assist to provide Janneh’s second goal of the night. City had been piling on the pressure around the box and Palmer was able to slip a ball into the forward, who curled the ball beyond Lewis Thomas to put City ahead.

Nicky Cadden and Ben Stevenson tried their luck but both fired over the bar from distance, before Hendry forced the penalty shootout.

O’Leary saved the first penalty diving low to his right but Palmer saw his effort from 12 yards also kept out. The following 11 penalties were all dispatched, leaving Pring with the pressure of needing to find the back of the net, however the left-back’s spot-kick was saved by Thomas.

City v FGR: O'Leary, Simpson, Kalas, Moore, Pring, Williams, Massengo, Nagy, Janneh, Bell, Wells (c). Subs: Wiles-Richards, Vyner, Baker, Scott, Bakinson, Palmer, Conway.

Next Up:

City's focus now turns to the Championship with a trip to face Middlesbrough on Saturday. Away tickets are on sale here.

The match will be streamed live to international subscribers, while audio passes are available for fans inside the UK, Ireland, Channel Islands and Isle of Man via Robins TV.

🎤 Post-match reaction

Nigel Pearson discusses the defeat.

📸 MATCH ACTION

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